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tv   Nightline  ABC  January 5, 2018 12:37am-1:07am PST

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living on the 110 ♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, inside waco. a fanatical leader with dozens of followers. >> he started purchasing huge amounts of weaponry, ammunition. >> in a 51-day standoff with federal agents. >> david, it is time to submit and surrender to the proper authorities. >> new details from inside the deadly siege. >> where are the kids, where are the kids? >> the kids should be the underground bus. the fbi said, we tear gassed that bus. >> authorities on the scene reliving the nightmare 25 years later. plus "molly's game." >> athletes, billionaires, that's the tip of the iceberg. >> the new movie starring jessica chastain taking us inside secretive, high-stakes card games. >> you can't believe it's a true
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story, you think it's something hollywood made up. >> how this one-time cocktail waitress became the multimillionaire hollywood heavyweights who she said aimed to feel the thrill of the game. >> the rush of, i'm going all-in, and i could lose. >> first here the "nightline 5." >> my friend susie cracks me up. but one laugh and hello sensitive bladder. ring a bell? then you have to try always discreet. i didn't think protection this thin could work. but the super-absorbent core turns liquid to gel for incredible protection that's surprisingly thin. so it's out of sight and out of mind. always discreet. for bladder leaks. also in liners. >> and number one is coming up in just 60 seconds. ♪ ♪ start the car! start the car! the ikea winter sale. wooooooo! get up to 50% off select items.
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good evening. it was the deadly raid that horrified this country. an armed apocalyptic religious group gained in a 51-day standoff with federal agents outside of waco, texas. their leader, david koresh, claimed he was the second coming of jesus. and tonight, 25 years after the fiery and fatal end, we have the audio of the negotiations and interviews with the survivors. >> this is abc news "nightline." >> what began as a fiasco on the 28th of february ended as a total disaster today. >> reporter: 25 years ago this april, the standoff outside waco, texas, between a controversial religious group and federal law enforcement came to a horrific end. >> it was our earnest hope that we could try to negotiate without any -- without endangering human life. >> reporter: for 51 days, the protracted confrontation captured the nation's attention, becoming the longest-running siege in american history.
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ending in the deaths of more than 70 men, women and children. >> for some americans, this was a legitimate law enforcement operation against a cult that was stockpiling weapons. for others it was an overreaching and violent federal government. >> reporter: the man at the center of it all, charismatic sect leader david koresh. >> the man is david koresh. >> david koresh. >> david koresh. >> that's what david wanted, was everyone to pay attention to him finally. and he was getting what he wanted. all eyes were on him. >> he was highly unstable, self-proclaimed messiah who used the bible and used scriptures as a weapon. >> reporter: the 33-year-old was the leader of the branch davidians, offshoot of the seventh day adventist church. >> we knew it was a cult, we'd joke about it all the time, yep, we're cult members. >> god can't manifest his love in this world of darkness! you got to come up there to find
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out about god! >> reporter: in the 1980s, koresh and over 100 followers lived together on a compound called mt. caramel center ranch. >> it was important for david koresh to isolate the group from the world, because the world is an influence that is constantly pulling people away and distracting you from the message. >> koresh called his compound the ranch apocalypse. >> the men lived on the ground floor, the women on the second floor with david koresh's bedroom up there too. there was a gymnasium, there was a chapel, a large kitchen, and there was a shelter. a buried school bus where they could go to in an emergency. >> there was no running water, no heat, no electricity of any kind. we had to go to bible study three times a day. >> reporter: koresh practiced polygamy, taking multiple women as wives and fathering their children. >> there was an extremely strong sense of family within that group. and they were that family. and anybody else was not. anybody else by their
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definition, by their verbiage, was babylon, evil. >> reporter: the group had stockpiled weapons they say for self-defense. >> david koresh preached from the beginning he wanted to militarize his followers. he started going to gun shows and purchasing huge amounts of weaponry, ammunition. >> he thought that the end of all-time, the end of the world, would come in a great battle between the faithful and the beast of babylon, who he specifically identified as the government of the united states of america. >> it's war! these governments of this world are coming to an end. go ahead and laugh. >> he had been saying for such a long time they were going to come for us. and then they did. they came. and they did exactly what he said they were going to do. >> one of the reasons that the branch davidians started to get investigated by the atf was because one day a delivery man for u.p.s. delivered a box of
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grenades to david koresh, and the box broke open. >> reporter: the investigation involved suspicion of firearms offenses, as well as potential physical and sexual abuse of minor children. >> the fbi underestimated the charismatic control david koresh had over this faith community. >> david koresh was training soldiers for god. >> religious zealots. >> reporter: february 28th, federal law enforcement moved in to raid the compound. >> you could hear something rumbling. coming right at us. >> they were never able to determine who really shot that first shot. >> reporter: someone inside the compound called 911. >> 911, what's your emergency? >> 75 men around our building and they're shooting at us in mt. caramel. tell them there's children and women in here and to call it off. >> wayne, cease firing. >> i have a right to defend myself! >> we did lose the call. call back, got hold of koresh. >> what'd you guys do that for?
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you see, you brought your bunch of guys out here and you killed some of my children. we told you we wanted to talk. no, how come you guys had to be atf agents? how come you try to be so big all the time? >> reporter: after a few hours the shooting stopped. four federal agents and six branch davidians were dead. but the raid had failed to flush the davidians from their compound. >> my feelings were, this is not over. when a cop goes down, it's a free-for-all. they want revenge. >> we wanted pay back, let's go regroup, let's go finish this thing. >> reporter: the standoff lasted for days, then weeks. the situation began to grow desperate on both sides. >> the main focus was on the children. >> david agreed to send them out two by two if we would read a specific scripture that he gave over the radio. >> my name is dave koresh. i'm speaking to you from mt. caramel center. >> we got six children out the first day. >> he says he will release more children, two by two --
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>> a total of ten children released from the compound -- >> he wanted the public to think that if they died, they died at the hands of law enforcement. >> but still there has been no surrender. >> we made a request that they prepare a videotape of the folks inside so that we could put a face to a name and get a sense of their personalities. >> this is my family. may not be like your family. >> we were stunned when we saw all those precious little kids that were his biological children. >> her name is serenity. >> one of the things that was very, very clear is that these kids were afraid of david. >> love me? have a kiss? thank you. >> the standoff near waco is in its fourth day with no end in fight. the fbi says 90 adults and 20 children remain in the compound. >> give me the coverage. >> i'm going to get your scripture message to the radio station right away. >> we came up with the idea of saying, if you'll record a message and in that message you
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promise to peacefully surrender. he did that, we were very hopeful. >> we were all prepared to receive them. and bring them out. all of a sudden, everything went quiet. >> koresh reneged on it, changed his mind. >> my god told me to wait, and it's all i'm doing. >> we're dumbfounded. >> it escalated things to a point where, in response, the fbi advanced onto the property with its tanks. >> you want to go knuckles to knuckles now, you want to have an all-out? >> reporte >> the 40th day of the siege at david koresh's compound is ending like the other 39. >> 51 days had passed, we hadn't had a person out in over a month, we haven't had a child out since the 5th of march. enough's enough. >> reporter: april 19th, law enforcement decided to move in with force. >> when i looked through the binoculars, i saw a tank with an
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extended arm, then we realized they were going in. >> david, it is time to submit and surrender to the proper authorities. >> over the loud speakers, we began to put gas into the building. >> this gas will temporarily render the building uninhabitable. >> the strategy is to make things so uncomfortable for koresh and his followers that they will come out with their hands up. >> and then it seemed sudden. >> the place is on fire! >> the place was engulfed in flames. i'm persuaded by the recordings of what was being said inside mt. caramel that david koresh and his most loyal followers decided to set the fire. >> you want to pour it already? we want the fuel! >> you want some here? >> pour it all out. >> we might need some later. >> my thought was, i'd rather be
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shot than to burn. two fbi guys, he was telling us to get down, the siege is over. i looked up to him, i said, the kids should be in the underground bus. he looked at the other fbi guy and the other fbi guy said, we tear gassed that bus. i was thinking to myself, you tools. you tear gassed the only avenue of escape for the kids. >> 78 people would perish that last day. not a one of them had to. >> we were not successful getting those children out. and boy, that was -- a traumatic thing. >> reporter: the standoff had finally ended, but the legacy of the siege would be lasting. >> timothy mcveigh was there. and was so affected by the incident at waco that he became an anarchist. >> federal building in oklahoma city was rocked this morning by what some are speculating was a car bomb. >> the attack may have been revenge for the federal raid in waco, texas. >> reporter: there are branch davidians still worshipping in america. today at the site of the former
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compound, a memorial to the dead. >> the memorial in waco, i have been to several times. just brings back the senseless, useless feeling that this didn't have to happen. >> ultimately, i would say we never had control over how it was going to end. that was david. he made that decision. coming up next, aaron sorkin and jessica chastain on their new movie "molly's game" and why this story so is relevant to today's "me too" movement.
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it was supposedly the ultimate boys' club, a high-stakes poker game for elite new york and hollywood power brokers, all being run by a woman. molly bloom's life is so sensational, it sounds like a movie. thanks to aaron sorkin and jessica chastain, it is. here's my "nightline" coanchor juju chang. >> we saw athletes, billionaires, that's the tip of the iceberg. >> reporter: where some of the richest, most powerful men in new york and hollywood came to play. >> poker isn't a game of chance, poker is a game of skill. >> reporter: gambling millions in a secretive high-stakes poker game. and pulling the strings? molly bloom. played by jessica chastain in the new movie "molly's game." >> i'm molly bloom. do you know about me? >> poker is a lot about power, intimidation, manipulation. >> reporter: the movie tells the unlikely story of a brilliant olympic hopeful bound for harvard law school who ended up heading an illicit gambling
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operation. >> you can't believe that it's a true story, you think it's something hollywood made up. >> it reads like fiction. >> absolutely, reality's stranger than fiction. >> reporter: molly bloom's transformation into the poker princess began after an accident derailed her skiing career, prompting her to move to los angeles. i talked to molly to get the real story. >> my role was to bring these guys drinks. then within a year i became the owner/operator of the game. >> reporter: a seat at her poker table for the legal game became one of the hottest tickets in town. attracting, she says, players like leonardo dicaprio. ben affleck. tobey maguire. the players in the movie are fictional, composite characters. a creative decision made by the movie's writer and director, aaron sorkin. >> you peeled back the curtain on this inner sanctum of secret hollywood power. it's not a pretty sight. >> it's not. just to be clear, in peeling back the curtain, i don't dish
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on anyone. i wouldn't want to under any circumstances. >> reporter: already celebrated in hollywood for creating "the west wing" -- >> i can sensitivic duty a mile away. >> reporter: and writing the screenplay for "the social network." >> welcome to facebook. >> reporter: this is his directorial debut. >> i like heros who don't wear a cape, don't have super powers. >> reporter: bloom fit the bill. she says for her layers the lure wasn't the money. >> they wanted experiences. they wanted to feel. >> i'll be hosting a game in this suite every tuesday night. if you play tonight, you'll be guaranteed a chair for a year. >> reporter: by making her game the ultimate boys' club, bloom says she was earning up to $4 million a year at the height of her success. all legally. >> i got an education on business, the art world, finance. but then i also got the other side of that, which is listening to the way men talk about women. >> in what way?
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>> you know, there are nights where there was -- there was a lot of -- just sort of degradation or disrespect. it's hard to hear. >> molly had to navigate a world of very powerful men. and any time one of these powerful men felt that molly wasn't sufficiently in awe of their power, they would ruin her. >> i'm going to stop paying you. >> what do you mean? >> as my assistant. >> reporter: in the movie, bloom's success presented a threat to the men she worked with. >> you're going to stop paying me because i'm making too much money doing my second job,fy say no i'll lose both jobs? >> because it's bad right now. >> reporter: twice penalized for being too god at her job. >> my money -- >> your money is my money. >> is it? >> reporter: she also ran afoul of the mob. graphically depicted in the movie. and eventually arrested, indicted for running an illegal poker game, after skimming the
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pot for profit. she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year of probation. >> i was sort of profiting from it and figuring it out and taking these calculated risks, going up against the billionaire boys' club. then it became about something else, it became about the money and the greed. >> reporter: these mistakes and what she learned from them part of what drew sorkin and chastain to bloom's story. >> you know, molly has this quality of no matter how many times she fails, no matter how many mistakes she makes, and falls down, she's constantly getting back up. >> reporter: "molly's game" is being released as the cultural tidal wave of the "me too" movement is sweeping hollywood and beyond. what's your response to what has happened since? >> the fact that women are coming together and saying, okay, we are not going to be silent about the injustices that we face anymore. >> reporter: chastain, a crusader for female empowerment, advocating for payee quality. >> every industry where one
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demographic is in charge of the livelihood of the minority, there's going to be abuses of power. >> reporter: proudly taking part at the women's march last year, unabashedly speaking out. >> if i don't use my platform to amplify the voices of those who have suffered, of those who don't have a platform as big as mine, then i don't know how you go on each day. >> reporter: sorkin isn't shy about speaking out either. >> if you were to do a "west wing" in the trump administration, what would that look like? >> it would look like dead air. i wouldn't do it. because i don't find him to be a terribly interesting character. he is exactly what he looks like. >> there's no subtext? >> there's no subtext, there's no nuance. he only ever talks about two things. himself and his enemies. and that's it. and it's a character that you wouldn't believe the character. >> reporter: chastain's performance, so believable she
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was just nominated for her fifth golden globe. i understand your reaction was a little almost surprised? >> especially after what we just talked about. with the idea of coming forward and speaking up. i'm allowed to have a voice. i'm allowed to do what i can to create a healthy environment for all of us. and i can still work. >> you're not going to be punished for having an opinion? >> yeah. a woman is allowed to have an opinion and have a livelihood. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm juju chang in new york. >> big thanks to juju for that report and we'll be right back. you won't believe how much is new at red lobster... ...that is, until you taste our new menu. discover more ways to enjoy seafood with new tasting plates small plates, with big flavor- like yucatan shrimp covered in chili-lime butter and caramelized pineapple. and if you like hot, buttery maine lobster, get your hands on this petite red lobster roll.
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i want to thank you for watching "nightline" tonight. as always we're online 24/7 on our "nightline" facebook page. you've probably heard about the so-called bomb cyclone that slammed the northeast today. we want to leave you tonight with some jaw-dropping images in the wake of that powerful storm.
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